US President reverses decision to include chief White House strategist Steve Bannon on the National Security Council.
Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump's chief strategist, has lost his seat on the powerful National Security Council (NSC) in a high-level shakeup, US officials said on Wednesday.
Trump's elevation of Bannon to a permanent spot on the NSC had been widely criticised as injecting politics into White House deliberations on sensitive defence, foreign policy, and intelligence matters.
A former head of the right-wing website Breitbart and now chief White House strategist, Bannon is regarded as a controversial proponent of the nationalistic anti-globalism that helped propel Trump to the White House last November.
In a presidential memo dated April 4, Bannon no longer appears on the list of regular attendees of NSC meetings.
A senior White House official told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Bannon was initially placed on the NSC after Trump's inauguration as a measure to ensure implementation of the president's vision, including efforts to downsize and streamline operations at the council.
Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was at the helm of the NSC at the time, but the official said Bannon's role on the committee had nothing to do with the troubles facing Flynn, who was later asked to resign for misleading the administration about his communication with Russian officials.
The new memo also restores the director of national intelligence and the Joint Chiefs chairman to the principals committee.
Bannon's addition to the NSC sparked concerns from Trump critics, who said it was inappropriate for the political adviser to play a role in national security matters.
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|Allen L. Jasson|